High Notes

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Entries in this journal

It's Never Enough (For Me!)

So, this is me toning down descriptions for my banknotes. I'm not sure why this is such a source of angst for me but I have to believe at the core of it is my desire to produce something that's halfway legible, informative and enjoyable, not just content for the sake of it and my distain of a word limit. Meh, well the only way I'm going to know is if I throw some of it out there for critiquing to the PMG Journal audience, all four of you.  I'm working on a basic structure, well not really, i

There's Room Enough Here For Two....

Banknotes, when playing Guess The Grade. As you go along your collecting journey it is almost impossible to NOT end up with a few duplicate notes, whether do to buying a bulk lot that contained a note you already owned, upgrades, winning an auction with a lowball bid, you purposely wanted a second note or you were running up the bid and got stuck with it. Ahem!  No matter the reason I really enjoy having duplicates as it give me an opportunity to further study and learn about the note. My m

They got an education / And they all been in school

I was taking a stroll through the internet, a week or so ago, searching for information on the paper used by the National Bank of Ukraine - Banknote Printing and Minting Works for banknote production, and stumbled upon a really wonderful document titled Banknote Paper Deterioration Factors: Circulation Simulator Method, authored by Tetiana Kyrychok, Anatolii Shevchuk, Victor Nesterenk, and Petro Kyrychok. Normally I like to skim over items such as this, gleaning what I think is pertinent to my f

But I Would Walk 500 (Hryven)

Turn over at the executive/legislative level always seems to be high, whether due to term limits, scandal or forced retirement and the NBU is no exception. On July 16, 2020 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine confirmed Kyrylo Shevchenko's appointment as Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, replacing Yakiv Smoliy.  The process is much the same as it is here in the States, the President taps someone on the shoulder, they are grilled before a committee and then a vote to confirm. The previous Govern

She Gets More (e)Mail Than The Pope

In late 2019 the NBU announced that it was reviving it's annual "Banknotes and Coins of Ukraine" catalog. They followed that announcement with the free release of the catalog for the years 2015 - 2019 in .pdf format, 2014 being the last year the catalog was released prior to 2019. Now here we are, 2020, and the NBU has remained true to their word, releasing the 2020 catalog just a few days ago.  They had some big releases in their commemorative coin line up but the banknote issues/releases were

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in NBU

You Can't Hurry (Notes) / No, You'll Just Have To Wait

Moving past the you/you'll lyric debate, , and now having grabbed all the low hanging fruit of Ukrainian banknotes, I'm realizing that further progress will be slow in the acquisition department. In my Ukrainian 1917-Date set I have 37 slots left to fill, out of 112, two of those empty slots (Picks 50 & 125) are $1,000 + notes in any grade so I don't really consider them required for completion. Another two slots (Picks 87A & 87B) were never printed/issued, other than proofs and specimen

Take A Look At My New Toy!

In part to help enhance a Journal entry I'm currently working on, also to "level up" my current banknote skills and what the heck because it's fun and cool I've added a new contraption to my banknote collecting arsenal, an IR Camera. I've been reading up on Infrared, lights, wavelengths, and cameras for a few weeks now along with researching the IR ink features on banknotes. I was considering constructing my own Infrared station for banknotes but since I had a bunch of Rewards Points through Ama

The One Thing The Whole World Loves Is A WINNER!

The International Journal of Central Banking, often referred to as Central Banking, a well respected global publication for policymakers and researchers in the field of monetary policy has announced the winners for the 2021 Central Banking Awards. An annual event recognizing "excellence in a community facing difficult monetary policy and financial stability challenges that will need to be tackled and effectively communicated, while prudently embracing technological change in reserves, financial

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in NBU

Under the (UV)light / You see a sight that almost stops your heart. Part 3

Uh oh... The new UV lights arrived earlier this week, I ordered both through Amazon, one a fluorescent UV light from Banknote World the other a LED UV flashlight. Both seem to be of good quality and I would have no problem recommending either one of them, depending on what you are using them for. Buuuut, we're talking banknotes here and one is better than the other, which will bring the question of "whether or not the label for anP82b in PMG holder is accurate" to a close. For reference, I

Under the (UV)light / You see a sight that almost stops your heart. Part 2

The Pick# 82b (with latent imprint) has been stuck in my head for the last few weeks. I don't know, just a feeling that I haven't investigated the note completely enough and some reservations with the capabilities of my equipment. Since I had no other 3 Karbovansti notes to compare it to I went and acquired several for a control group, they are fairly cheap for raw notes. Upon their arrival and inspection they looked as they should, in regards to the latent imprint, under normal lighti

The (note) is HIGH but I'm holding on

I've previously mentioned I wasn't planning on upgrading any notes, except for replacing a few AU notes and that I would consider an upgrade for a +2 note. I've been sticking to my guns but it's been much less of a choice to do so as the popularity of Ukrainian notes as increased. PMG graded Ukrainian banknotes have been increasing in popularity, number and price over the past year, with the largest price increases being seen for the higher grade notes. I'll have to go back through my records bu

Maybe time is (an empty slot), endlessly mocking.

That empty slot for the P-125, 50 Hryven commemorative is sticking out like a sore thumb now that I have all the slots surrounding it filled.  I've had so many opportunities to purchase this note raw but other things keep popping up, the latest was an Isle of Man half sovereign last week. I have had the funds several times, I know were one is. Why can't I pull the trigger on this note!?  Well, I'm in the same position I was almost a year ago, waiting to accumulate funds to purchase thi

Upgrade my system (sets) at least twice a day.

Not really, but....  Most of the Ukrainian notes coming up for auction/sale as of late are duplicates of examples I already have but some would be upgrades for me. So do I take the opportunity to replace a few low grades in my set or not, I'm not so sure right now. There are many factors in a decision to upgrade your collection, as a collector you would of course want the best examples available (that are within your means). I'm definitely not upgrading anything unless it's a 2+ increase in

Under the (UV)light / You see a sight that almost stops your heart

A new note arrived the other day, always a joyous event. It was a P 82b, a note that the seller had multiples of, a note that you don't see as often as it's counterpart (82a). As soon as I saw this note I checked the PMG Population Report, five notes graded at 68 and 1 at 65. I don't keep a week by week record of the populations but I do check them out every Tuesday when they are updated and from what I recalled the five 68's are all new meaning they were all submitted together. Sweet, now I'm p

Where did you come from?

So this was part of another journal entry I was writing but I got completely sidetracked in researching/writing this aspect of the entry and it just doesn't fit or stay within the theme of the original anymore. Viola! A second journal entry.  In 1991 the newly Independent Ukraine was accepting bids to print its new currency the Hryvnia. CBNC (Canadian Bank Note Company), one of the bidders, is based in Ottawa. At the time Canada had a population of just over 27 million, 1 million of which w

Where have all the (Ukrainian banknotes) gone.?

Where'd they go? Oooh I know, in Bonezdog registry set! JK  But seriously this is a good problem to have. I keep an eye on the population reports and Ukrainian banknotes have been making big strides. While the pace has slowed in recent weeks I fully expect a large increase in the near future, an expectation such as that wouldn't exist without multiple collectors out there acquiring these graded notes, it's a simple matter of supply and demand. With out the demand it would be just me sending

Big Money Make Mistakes?

For me, part of the fun of collecting world notes is trying to find information, sorting though it and then trying to put the pieces together.... Like most collectors (if you don't have this you should think about getting a copy) I have and use the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (Modern Issues 1961 - Present), I'm currently working off of the 25th edition. The SCWPM assigns Pick #'s, is THE book for PMG (their go to for modern world notes) and where PMG gest a lot of the information

It's not an issue (really it's not)

One of the things that draws me to world banknotes, lesser known and/or collected world banknotes, is that you can find and acquire "rarities" within a series or country and typically at a fraction of the cost for a similar U.S. note or similar heavily collected notes like China. In addition to the accessibility and price points another bonus is the variety or shear volume at times of the types of "rarities" you can acquire, and the volatility present in most newer countries just adds to the div

Is this just fantasy? (Umm, yes.)

I just find this stuff interesting as hell for some reason, anyway.... I picked up some more Ukrainian fantasy banknotes a few weeks back. After some haggling with the seller and discovering that there was a set of six, not just the three I was initially making offers on, I pulled the trigger on them. I had seen some of these before, selling in auctions (typically hammer for around $20 - $25 each) but I knew absolutely nothing about them. Once the notes arrived I gave them a quick onceover

Makes me wonder if it's worth it to (get a good image)? Hell yes!

I spent the last 3 weeks scanning all of my banknotes and updating the images in my registry sets along with reorganizing my database where I have them all cataloged. Whew! The pictures I had taken early on had always bugged me, not taken straight on, dark and just blah. While using scanned images has limitations, especially on the modern notes with their moire patterns, grids and other anticounterfeiting printing techniques that are there to deter scanning. That said I didn't let the presence o

I give props to (the NBU), so Hip Hop hooray, ho

When I first started collecting Ukrainian coins and banknotes I was prepared for the worst, meaning I thought I would have to translate everything, that there would be a lack of transparency and information from the NBU, archaic website, and few to no references. I was wrong. Ukrainian coins and currency are some of the most well documented that I have come across. I have mentioned some of the reference books that I use in a previous entry, this time I would like to focus on the resources provid

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in NBU

All we (I) need is just a little patience

Skip to the last paragraph if you want the short version. In a previous entry I had mentioned passing on P125 to go after several other notes that I had open slots for in my sets. A few days after that journal entry an auction pops up with 5 Ukrainian specimen banknotes in it, ok, now we're talking. Now I'm feeling even better about my choice to pass on the P125, a few specimen notes would look great in my collection. The auction was for seven days and would end end around 3:30 in the after

It's a long way to the top, if you wanna (good looking note)

I recently read a PMG article titled "Collection Inspiration: Women Writers". In the article a Ukrainian note is referenced, the 200 Hryven banknote, featuring Lesya Ukrainka on the front of the note. In the article a brief description was given about the Poetess and the note, PMG chose to highlight the 2nd series note (good choice) and I thought I would take the opportunity to expand on the evolution of the note itself.  After Ukraine declared independence from the USSR in 1991 the two cou

I'm a sucker for (Fake Banknotes).

I did it again, actually twice more but I'll just focus on one for now. My love for companion pieces to my Ukrainian banknote collection knows no end. I recently picked up a few more fake or "fantasy" notes, they are in the same vein as my previous acquisition of a commemorative Antarctic set of notes, see my Journal entry "You need more, more, more (Stuff)" for details on those. As with the Antarctic notes these were printed on behalf of the Ukrainian numismatic magazine Numismatics & Faler

You say I'm just a specimen! (Yeah, pretty much)

So how rare is a specimen? Well, if you collect Ukrainian banknotes not very. I've been looking at Ukrainian specimen notes for a while now, over a year, and one of the initial observations was that "wow, there are a lot available". Meaning that they are not hard to find and they are not hard to find a reasonable prices. For the modern issues anyway, 1991 to date. A quick search of ebay, lazily typing in UKRAINE SPECIMEN, nets 281 hits, of which I would say 50-75 are actual banknote specimens, s
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